Below is a summary of the responsibilities and benefits placed on students in J-1 status by the United States Department of State. For more information, please consult with the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) and/or the Responsible Officer of the J-1 program that issued your DS-2019.
The following are the minimum credit hour requirements for J-1 students to maintain full-time registration:
Level of Study: Credit Hours Per Semester:
Undergraduate or Undergraduate Certificate: 12 credit hours
Graduate or Graduate Certificate: 9 credit hours
Master of Business Administration: 9 credit hours
Master of Laws (LLM): 8 credit hours
Juris Doctor (JD): 12 credit hours
Coursework is optional during the summer vacation (May-August)
In some cases exceptions may be granted for valid academic and medical reasons. Consult with your J-1 Responsible Officer before registering or dropping a course that places you in part-time status.
You are required to maintain the following minimum level of health insurance for you and your family's entire stay in J-1 or J-2 status:
Medical benefits of $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with medical evacuation in amount of $50,000
Deductible does not exceed $500 per accident or illness
Your J-1 program may be cancelled if you fail to meet this requirement. In addition, your Responsible Officer may request proof of this coverage each time you request a new DS-2019 or apply for employment.
Social Security Number: To put you on the payroll, your employer will need your Social Security number, which you can obtain by applying for a Social Security card.
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification: When you begin work, you and your employer must complete an I-9 form, which requires you to document your identity and work authorization according to direction on the back of the Form. Of the various items acceptable as documentation, you may find that the most convenient combination is your passport, I-94 record of entry, your DS-2019, and J-1 Responsible Officer's written work authorization. Your employer, who keeps the I-9, will make copies of the documents you submit, and return the originals to you. The I-9 must be updated any time that you receive a renewal of your permissions for Academic Training.
Your permission to stay in the United States is determined by your I-94 and DS-2019. As long as your I-94 is noted J-1 and D/S, you have 30 days to leave the United States after the completion date of your program (this date cannot exceed the expiration date on your DS-2019).
If additional time is needed to complete your program, you must obtain a new DS 2019 and complete a program extension before the expiration date of your current DS-2019.
Contact your Responsible Officer regarding procedures for validating your DS-2019 before you depart the United States temporarily.
To re-enter the United States you will need a valid J-1 visa, passport and DS-2019. Contact ISSS to see if you are eligible for automatic revalidation of visa for brief visits to Canada, Mexico, and most Caribbean islands.
6.Two year home country physical presence requirement
As a J-1 exchange visitor, you may be subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, or 212(e). In this case you must return home for a minimum of two years after completing your J-1 program before you can change or adjust your status to an H, L, or other immigrant status.
The home country requirement applies to you if:
You received funding from the United States Government, your own government, or an international organization in connection with your participation in the Exchange Visitor Program.